The guy who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity delivered (in his name) a deliberately less than completely inflammatory reaction (for him) to the police shootings in Dallas. But it was bad enough.
Sorry, Trump does not merit even the tiniest benefit of the doubt with his pathetic, boilerplate “statement” Friday morning. Read it closely:
“It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe. We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street. The senseless, tragic deaths of two motorists in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done.”
The first word that had no place in there was, “coordinated.” That would indicate more than one person was involved. Trump didn’t know whether that was true when the statement was issued. It is a textbook example of rushing to judgement with no facts, just misinformed speculation. He may turn out to be right…. then will brag he “knew” it first and predicted it. It makes sense, however, when you remember he’s America’s Conspiracy Theory Champion… conspiracies by definition involve more than one person. Like the one where all the people helped fake Obama’s birth, citizenship, and education. Or new FOD (Friend of Donald) Ted Cruz, now speaking at the convention, whose father was involved in the conspiracy to kill JFK. Remember, Trump learned that courtesy of the National Enquirer…. which provides the all time greatest campaign scoop headline: “JOHN F. KENNEDY’S SECRET SON ENDORSES DONALD TRUMP!”
Nice dog whistle code putting Nixon’s “law and order” in there, too. Does a generalized call for law and order have anything to do with Philando Castile of Minnesota, the motorist (actually a passenger) who you (conveniently) forgot to mention was black, who got shot obeying a policeman’s order? The sloppiness of calling them “two motorists” when Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge was not in a car is pathetic. That it was semi-corrected later means nothing. It shows a total lack of attention to facts and detail. Amazingly, he’d have been better off just calling them “two black guys.”
“Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better. This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children,” Trump said. “This is a time, perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion. We will pull through these tragedies.”
But most importantly of all, I have this question: did the campaign tie up Trump in a rubber room, not permitting him to call “the shows,” forcing out this type of mealy mouthed politician statement? Aside from the NYC Police Commissioner telling Trump to f— off when he wanted to visit a local precinct to pose for a photo op with NYC cops, they must have put him in a straight jacket most of the day. The statement was so obviously written by someone else… not Trump… that it is, in the end, worthless. That’s not his voice. He doesn’t talk like that, he doesn’t write like that…. it’s not his language. Spit at the tv if you hear Trump given some kind of “credit” for this “presidential”-type statement in these circumstances.
Later, he put out another non-Trump-type statement on Facebook. I have to tell the truth…. it’s both amusing and sad, very sad, believe me.… to see the guy who trashes Hillary for using a teleprompter brag about his lack of need for one using a teleprompter under duress.
Bored with the minutia and work involved in going all-in attacking Hillary for the credibility issues she faces because James Comey followed the law, he’d rather defend his retweeting anti-Semitic appeals to the white supremacist crowd, the Unappreciated Greatness of Saddam Hussein, and the sleeping habits of Chuck Todd of NBC. That was his week of rallies until Dallas.
Trump used to flippantly say that every disaster was helpful to him… the poll numbers seemed to bear that out after Paris and San Bernadino. But that was long ago in political time. We’ll find out soon enough if the country is not any kind of expanded version of the Republican primary electorate. It doesn’t feel like it. Josh Marshall brilliantly chips away at the Infallibility of He Who Will Make Us Sick of Winning…. Trump, Dominance Politics and the Limits of the Bullshit Production Model
So much of Trump’s whole way of approaching, or rather attacking life is, as I’ve said, sensing the crowd, sensing the audience and either telling them what they want to hear or knocking them off their stride with unpredictable, aggressive tactics. You can do that in a sit-down with a fellow mogul over lunch where you go from 0 to 60 with over the top tactics they’re not expecting or used to. But that’s an immediate, almost intimate encounter; you can likely only pull it on the same person a limited number of times. (Remember, only one major bank, DeutscheBank, will do business with Trump. He’s shut out at all the rest.) But the stage Trump is now is quite a different one. There are a lot of people out there and people have a lot of time to watch. Trump has passed himself off for decades as a great philanthropist. Only under the hot glare of presidential election scrutiny has that claim been revealed to be more or less baseless.
A great salesperson can say something so magnificently and convincingly that you believe because you want to believe even if it makes no sense at all. Salespeople tell stories, beautiful or horrifying ones. Trump can say Hispanics actually love him. But in his meeting this morning with House Republicans he was talking to people who have been inundated by evidence and have an existential need to know the truth. The standard issue bullshit is just no easy match for that audience under those circumstances.